When your Hilton HHonors points expire, and how to stop it

I receive regular emails from readers asking ‘How can I stop my Hilton HHonors points from expiring?’ or ‘When do my Hilton HHonors points expire?’. This series looks at the major hotel loyalty programmes and shows you how to keep valuable points intact.

Hilton HHonors is the loyalty scheme for a wide variety of hotel brands including Canopy, Conrad, Curio, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Hampton, Hilton, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites and Waldorf-Astoria.

When do Hilton HHonors points expire?

According to the Hilton HHonors terms and conditions here (clause 13):

“Members who do not have eligible activity as defined in a. – d. below in any 12 consecutive month period may be removed from the Program and are subject to forfeiture of all accumulated points. At the discretion of Hilton HHonors Worldwide, such Members may be permitted to remain in the Program and removed after five years of inactivity.

To keep accumulated HHonors Points, the Member must take one of the following actions within a 12 consecutive month period:

a.  stay at a hotel within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio pursuant to the terms herein
b.  earn HHonors Points through any third party source of HHonors Point accumulation, including a Hilton co-branded credit card, pursuant to its terms
c.  purchase HHonors Points; or
d.  donate points through The Hilton HHonors Giving Back Program”

What are my options to ‘earn HHonors Points through any third party source”?

The key point is that YOU DO NOT NEED TO STAY AT A HOTEL TO KEEP YOUR POINTS ALIVE. You simply need to have some earning activity go through your account.

Hilton Paris Opera

There are various ways of achieving this:

Earning points (I have only listed options suitable for UK readers):

Transfer American Express Membership Rewards points into Hilton HHonors.  The minimum transfer is just 200 points which is worth 400 Hilton points.

Transfer points from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club into Hilton HHonors.  The minimum transfer is 10,000 Virgin miles which is worth 15,000 Hilton points.

Transfer points from Diners Club Rewards.  The minimum transfer is 380 points which is worth 2,000 Hilton points.

Buy any quantity of Hilton HHonors points

Take out the free UK Hilton Visa card (my review is here) and spend on it.  The sign-up bonus on this card is excellent – a free night in any hotel when you spend just £750.

Credit an Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Alamo or National car rental to your account

Buy a Priority Pass for airport lounge access

Earn points when using your mobile abroad via Travelling Connect (I wrote about it here) or One SimCard

Spending points:

Booking and cancelling a redemption room to create movement on your account does NOT count as activity under the terms above.  Under the rules I quoted above there is only one spending option which keeps your points alive:

Donate points to charity via The Hilton HHonors Giving Back Program.  The minimum transfer is a steep 10,000 points.

Transfer points:

There is another alternative and one which I have used in the past.  You can transfer Hilton HHonors points to someone else for a fee of $12.50 per 5,000 points – the form is here.  I would value 5,000 points at around £15 ($22.50) so there is some value in doing this rather than watching them expire.

It is slightly trickier to keep Hilton HHonors points alive than with some other chains.  That said, it is a relatively easy thing to do, especially if you have some Amex Membership Rewards points.

If the worst comes to the worst and your points are lost, Hilton has been known to reinstate them if you call.  This will usually require you to make a number of stays over the next few months – the points are not put back without some activity on your part.

If you want to track the expiry dates of all of your miles and points, I recommend signing up to AwardWallet for free.  It keeps all of your points balances, including non-travel loyalty schemes, in one place and updates them automatically.  If you pay $10 every six months for the premium version it also tracks your expiry dates and emails you when points are about to expire.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  To see our complete list of promotions from the major chains, click here to visit our ‘Hotel Promos’ page or use the link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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About Head for Points

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  1. Justin says:

    Another option is the survey company e-rewards. You can credit from 2000 points (for 1000 HH points) up to 8000 (for 7000) points once every three months. I’ve been getting the full 28000 points per year for a few years now.

  2. My SPG points expired earlier this year so I called them and they reinstated them.

  3. I simply stopped using my Honors account as Marriott became my main scheme with SPG as my back up. This was due to location and choice of hotels in the region I was based.

    A few years back I made GGL with BA and re-instated my Hhonors account with several calls and became instant Diamond. The points that I had I assumed were lost, however, I simply had to stay at Hiltons and they would re-instate my points at the rate of whatever I earned for a regular stay, I would also get back my orphaned points – so say 7000 points for a stay, they credited 7000 of my old points – but they would only do this over a 6 month period.

  4. Stuart says:

    Can you buy something from the hotel bar / restaurant and show HHonors card whilst paying?

    • No, because stand-alone F&B purchases at Hilton don’t give points unfortunately. I know some schemes are different however….

  5. You also earn points by buying stuff on the HHnonors Shop-to-Earn Mall. I bought an e-book so didn’t have to faff with postage or delivery.

  6. Danksy says:

    How about making a points booking and then cancelling?

  7. Do you think the 1000 points for changing your password will count towards a credit?

  8. I’m sitting on a fat balance of zero at the moment, probably not surprising as I booked through BA Holidays so assumed (but hoped otherwise) that the stay would be un-eligible. That said, slightly surprised that £300 I charged to the room was also non qualifying to earn points.

  9. I use my Hilton Honnors visa card for non Amex retailers, for example my local pub!

  10. Mr(s) Entitled says:

    Can my spouse get the Hilton Credit Card and link it to my HH account?

  11. Lady London says:

    They refused to reinstate my points or to make any helpful offer after I was distracted by family issues for a year and my points expired. Since then IHG has had many stays that would otherwise have gone to Hilton. Interesting to hear that some were offered flexibility though. I’m strictly transactional with Hilton now – every stay has to have an incentive otherwise it’s IHG or even Marriott.

    • Howard says:

      Thanks for this. My wife had 50,000 (which I had forgotten about) and I just transferred 200 Amex Reward points.